FAS Event: Investing in roads for a safer, cleaner and more silent mobility
Publication date: 09 October 2012
The Forum for the Automobile and Society (FAS) brought together a range of transport experts to discuss the importance and potential for investing in roads for safer, cleaner and more silent mobility in the Bibliothèque Solvay, Brussels, on 9 October 2012.
The FAS Chairman and Member of the European Parliament, Bernd Lange, opened the meeting and pointed out that the importance of roads is often underestimated when it comes to strategies for safer, cleaner and more silent mobility.
Stephane Ouaki, Head of Unit for Connection Europe at the European Commission, presented EU infrastructure investment strategies, and gave an overview of the proposal for financing European transport infrastructure through the connecting European facility and the revised TEN-T guidelines. He highlighted the importance of cross-border connections within Europe to create a European network instead of a patchwork of different national networks.
Luca Pascotto, FIA Region I Mobility Director, followed with a presentation of the benefits of investing in road infrastructure in terms of road safety. He said: “Safer road infrastructure is a key element of any effective strategies to further reduce the trend of road fatalities. The FIA is fully convinced that we must apply the best practice of identifying road design flaws through systematic assessment of risk. This is the reason why the FIA is supporting the EuroRAP programme which ensures that the safety of road infrastructure is measured and published according to internationally recognised standards”.
He drew attention to the following measures which would significantly improve road safety through improved infrastructure:
- “We need to set minimum safety levels, and systematically assess and upgrade the safety of our road infrastructure. We need to start with the busy high risk roads where deaths are concentrated. This means new types of retrofitting programs, large high return Safer Road Investment Plans - not just new roads. It means setting a long-term vision for 2020 and 2025, and undertaking these programs as cost effectively as possible during planned maintenance.”
- “We need to provide more efficiency through a better use of technologies already available. It means cooperative systems and ‘Roads that cars can read’. There must also be a significant change in the way we manage the system to serve the motorist, reducing both congestion and bottlenecks”.
- The FIA and their Clubs will continue to develop and support safety programs like EuroRAP and EuroNCAP which provide technical tools and training. Luca Pascotto said: “We will work with international institutions to make the standards of safety achieved more transparent, and we will continue to support awareness raising initiatives, as those initiatives are essential both to inform users and to keep pressure on decision-makers”.
Afterwards Christophe Nicodème Director General of ERF presented the benefits of infesting in road structure in terms of green mobility. He pointed out that the whole sector of road infrastructure is changing to tackle more the challenges facing society in terms of sustainable mobility. Therefore investments are crucial in terms of road adaption, maintenance and preservation, as well as in new intelligent technologies and R&D to achieve these goals.
The Managing Director of Mueller BBM Switzerland, Thomas Beckenbauer, concluded proceedings with a presentation of the benefits of investing in Road Infrastructure for silent mobility. He highlighted that the call for more silent roads is strongly related to better road surfaces in terms of noise and that there is a need to close the “road gap” in noise regulations for the vehicle-tyre-road system.